To avoid flooding already overstocked dealers with new models, Suzuki’s American distributor decided not to import any 2010 model-year street bikes. Suzuki has returned for 2011, in better shape and hitting harder. Development has focused on the GSX-R600 and GSX-R750, which are visually identical except for paint and decals. Both bikes got nearly all the same stem-to-stern changes, and—incredibly—have MSRPs that differ by only $400 ($11,599 for the 600, $11,999 for the 750).
Suzuki says the new GSX-R600/750s are a “major leap” ahead of their predecessors, with a new frame and swingarm, new suspension and brakes, and a thoroughly revamped engine, all aimed at enhancing on-track performance and reducing curb weight by about 20 pounds. Wheelbase has been shortened by 0.59-inch while preserving swingarm length by raising the engine up and rotating it back three degrees, which better centralizes mass. Countless engine tweaks have reduced reciprocating mass and friction for better efficiency and fuel economy, though overall power is about the same. Both bikes get Showa’s Big Piston Fork and Brembo Monoblock front calipers, roomier ergos, sleeker styling and GSX-R1000 instrumentation, among many other improvements. We can’t wait to ride ‘em! In dealers February/March 2011.
Also new for 2011 is the GSX1250FA, which has the same engine, chassis and running gear as the now-defunct GSF1250 Bandit (sadly, the SV650S, Gladius, GSX650F and GS500 are also absent from the 2011 lineup—look for good deals on carry-overs). The GSX gets a full fairing with a secondary cooling fan to help manage heat inside the enclosed engine. As with Bandits of yore, the liquid-cooled 1,255cc in-line four should be silky smooth, thanks in part to a secondary counterbalancer. Dual fully floating front discs with 4-piston calipers and a single rear disc with 1-piston caliper are equipped with standard ABS. Instrumentation is from the GSX-R, the seat can be adjusted from 31.7 to 32.5 inches and it comes with a centerstand. Curb weight is claimed to be 567 pounds, and fuel capacity is five gallons. A promo video at Suzuki’s dealer meeting showed a GSX1250GA equipped with optional hard saddlebags and a top trunk for sport-touring duty. MSRP is $11,599 and will be in dealers January 2011.